1. Compare insurers and policies
Number 1 on our list should go without saying - you should always compare policies and providers to make sure you’re getting the best deal. With a large number of insurers in the market, this can take some time, so we’d recommend using a service like ours where you can compare all of them in a few short steps.
Whether you are looking for your first private medical insurance policy, or have had one for many years, comparing the market is probably the best way to reduce your costs, and we find that in 89% of cases, we can reduce someone’s health insurance cost by doing so.
2. Opt for no outpatient cover
All medical insurance policies will cover you for inpatient treatments, meaning those where a hospital bed is needed overnight, with many also including day-patient treatments. Outpatient cover, however, tends to be an additional option that attracts significantly higher costs. By including outpatient cover on your policy you will have the best health insurance available, but it will come at a price. If you want to have private medical insurance but are concerned about the costs, then removing outpatient cover can be a good way to keep prices down. Just bear in mind this will probably mean, that in the event you become unwell, you will need to be diagnosed through the NHS, not privately.
3. Opt for limited outpatient cover
A halfway house between having and not having outpatient cover is opting for cover up to a certain cash value each year. This can be an excellent way to ensure that you do have some outpatient cover, without going completely to a comprehensive policy and paying the associated costs.
Policies with limited outpatient cover will typically cover you up to an agreed cash value or up to a certain number of treatments, so be sure to check which applies to you before taking out your policy.
4. Add an excess
An excess is an amount of money that you agree to pay towards any treatments you receive - the larger the excess the lower your annual premiums will be. An optional excess can start at £100 and go up to £5,000 with certain providers. While at first glance it can be tempting to opt for a significant excess on your policy we would always recommend exercising some caution and ensuring that the excess is affordable. Ultimately you want to avoid a situation whereby your treatment isn’t affordable due to your excess, so setting it to a reasonable level is always advisable.
5. 6-Week NHS Wait
Adding a 6-week wait option to your policy can result in significant savings on your premiums, sometimes by as much as 20% per month, but it’s important to understand the limitation you are applying to your policy.
A 6-week NHS wait option on your policy means that should the waiting time on the NHS be 6 weeks or less, then you’ll be treated via the NHS and not privately. If the speed of your treatment is more important than who provides it, then the 6-week option can be a great choice, but it isn’t for everyone.
The 6-week NHS wait only applies to inpatient care, where you need a hospital bed overnight. If you’ve got outpatient treatment on your policy that will be provided privately as soon as possible.
6. Reduced hospital lists
Choosing a reduced hospital list is another way of gaining low-cost medical insurance. Some policies provide you with the option of choosing a hospital list of just NHS Trust and Partnership hospitals. This would restrict your treatment to private wards in NHS hospitals but reduce your premiums accordingly.
Another way to reduce the cost of your premiums is to exclude London hospitals from your list as they are among the most expensive in the country to be treated at.
Assuming you’re based outside of London, it can be cheaper to have a local hospital list, rather than a nationwide one. If you’re keen to be treated locally, this cost-saving measure may not mean you sacrifice much.
7. Switch providers
As we mentioned in our first point, comparing providers is one of the best ways to bring the cost of your premiums down. Alongside comparing, is switching providers which you can do on an annual basis if it is prudent. By working with an independent health insurance broker, you can have your policy automatically reviewed each year to see if there’s a better option available. Our health insurance renewal review service is the perfect way to keep your costs down, and best of all it doesn’t cost you a penny.
How to compare medical insurance
The best way to compare medical insurance is using a service likes ours where we go out to all of the UK’s leading providers on your behalf.